The Boy is a lot better than The Forest. That news should be enough to excite fans of the horror genre, who are used to the graveyard that is January. A young American woman, Greta (Lauren Cohan of “The Walking Dead”), runs from something in her past by taking a nanny gig for an English family living on an estate in the middle of nowhere. Once she arrives, she learns her charge, Brahms, is actually a creepy doll who’s treated like a living boy by his parents, the Heelshires (Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle). When the Heelshires leave Greta alone with Brahms, the young woman starts witnessing strange occurrences. Is she going crazy, or is there more to this doll?
Director William Brent Bell improves on his disappointing The Devil Inside. The Boy properly chills and does not succumb to the weakening tropes that befall most current horror, though screenwriter Stacey Menear relies on far too many dream sequences. A late twist I desired in the first act will either electrify or confuse (I felt both ways) and begins to negate the goodwill generated by a strong second act. But why cast the English-accented Cohan as an American? Just to cash in on her “Walking Dead” fame? At least Rupert Evans, recently seen as an American in Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle,” gets to use his natural accent.
The Boy must be pretty good if its biggest flaws are casting-related and not actual flaws. The movie even boasts some decent horror pedigree with the presence of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre cinematographer Daniel Pearl. The decent horror score supplied by “Battlestar Galactica” composer Bear McCreary is his second of the month (The Forest’s may have been better). Horror fans rejoice; The Boy is worth keeping.
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.